Buffalo, NY asked in Business Law, Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for New York

Q: Can my contacted company release me from my contract?

I live in Buffalo, NY. I work for a staffing agency(based out of Ohio) and have to miss some days due to meeting with my portion officer. Can they legally terminate the contract with my staffing agency due to me missing those days I had to meet with my P.O. and some other late days?

2 Lawyer Answers
T. Augustus Claus
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A: It depends on the terms and conditions outlined in your employment contract and relevant employment laws. Generally, employers have the right to terminate employment contracts for reasons such as excessive absenteeism, but it's essential to review the specific terms of your contract and any applicable state employment laws. If your missed days are related to a legal obligation like meeting with your probation officer, there may be protections in place.

V Jonas Urba agrees with this answer

V Jonas Urba
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  • Employment Law Lawyer
  • Licensed in New York

A: You should definitely reach out to your probation officer because that individual has every intention of keeping you employed or at least should have such an intention.

You might Google: "adult probation services" and "New York". Use the quotation marks which might produce a county help line based on the county in which you reside. Some of them, like Thompkins County, have a great explanation of what the probation department's goals are and how their departments pursue them.

Although the laws of New York State apply while you work here, you might have agreed to applicability of Ohio laws since your employer is located there. That does not mean that New York's laws are thrown out the window but you may have consented to laws, so long as they are consistent with New York's public policies, which govern how your employment will be handled. If you were discriminated against, which your facts do not specifically identify what type of discrimination you may have incurred (if you were asked about convictions and you honestly disclosed any then the employer did hire you regardless of those conviction(s) right?) but if there was some type of discrimination reaching out to the New York State's Division of Human Rights is another option.

It's been decades since I handled a criminal matter. But if you pled to crime(s) and adjudication was withheld pending successful completion of probation then your employer knew of same correct? You applied for a job under Ohio laws presumably and I am without knowledge about that state's laws. Assuming full compliance with their laws, they hired you regardless of your past history. New York has every interest to keep you employed but it has no jurisdiction over your Ohio employer. You cannot be discriminated while you work in New York but it's unclear whether that actually occurred.

The New York State Division of Human Rights handles employment discrimination complaints across all of New York State. You have 1 year from an adverse employment action, like being fired, to file a complaint. But the facts you state are unclear whether you were discriminated while performing labor in New York.

Ask your probation officer to help you work this out. They will almost certainly want to help. Because the last thing New York government seeks is more unemployed residents. If you committed gross misconduct for this job, either by how you applied for the job or how you performed the job (excessive absences might rise to gross misconduct) then you could be denied unemployoment. But being denied unemployment benefits in New York is something you almost have to try to do, barring untruthfulness, being warned about anything which may result in termination if repeated, insubordination, and other serious issues. Otherwise, unemployment benefits are almost a no-brainer.

Call your probation officer for help. Google the search term listed above for more help. Reach out to a criminal defense lawyer in New York or possibly an employment or criminal defense lawyer in Ohio. If there was discrimination file your complaint with the NYS DHR within a year. Some claims may be pursued for up to 3 years. But few claims get better with time.

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